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SSTP One Reason to Look Forward to Vista SP1




SSTP One Reason to Look Forward to Vista SP1
SSTP One Reason to Look Forward to Vista SP1



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=== CONTENTS ==================================================
IN FOCUS: SSTP One Reason to Look Forward to Vista SP1

NEWS AND FEATURES
   - Fortify Software Extends Its Reach 
   - TJX Reveals Big Data Breach
   - What's Hot: Readers Recommend the Best Products
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities

GIVE AND TAKE
   - Security Matters Blog: 51 Reasons to Patch Your Oracle 
     Applications
   - FAQ: Find a User's DN
   - From the Forum: TACACS Authentication
   - IT Pro of the Month--December 2006 Winner
   - Share Your Security Tips

PRODUCTS
   - New Endpoint Safety Features
   - Wanted: Your Reviews of Products 

RESOURCES AND EVENTS

FEATURED WHITE PAPER

ANNOUNCEMENTS


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=== IN FOCUS: SSTP One Reason to Look Forward to Vista SP1 ====   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

Sometimes building a VPN can be tedious work, especially when firewalls 
are involved. There are of course ways to build VPNs that can usually 
traverse a firewall without the need to configure new rules. One of the 
most common methods is to use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-based VPN, 
which can be made to operate over standard HTTP ports. 

Microsoft's new VPN technology, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol 
(SSTP), does exactly that. SSTP is an SSL-based client-to-server VPN 
tunneling protocol designed to make connectivity much easier. 

The biggest benefit of SSTP is that because it works over standard HTTP 
ports, SSTP traffic will be able to traverse a network to reach the 
end-point server even when the client is behind a Network Address 
Translation (NAT)-enabled network, Web proxy, or reasonably configured 
firewall that at least allows Web traffic. This will be very helpful, 
especially for mobile users who find themselves using networks at 
hotels and conference centers, which sometimes lock down their networks 
to the point of being unusable except for the most basic needs. 

Microsoft has already released Windows Vista to businesses and is set 
to release the new OS to consumers this week. As you might expect, the 
company is busy working on Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), and when that 
update is released, it will include SSTP. The company also plans to 
include SSTP in Windows Longhorn Server Beta 3, due sometime in the 
first half of this year.

Samir Jain, lead programmer for Microsoft's RRAS technology, said that 
SSTP integrates seamlessly into the OS so that it works through the 
typical RRAS interfaces. The integration means that you'll get the same 
types of functionality you're already accustomed to when using RRAS, 
such as support for Network Access Protection (NAP), support for IPv6, 
and support for various authentication mechanisms such as smart cards. 

The way SSTP works is very similar to the way SSL works in a Web 
browser, with some added intricacies of course. A client computer 
connects to an SSTP-enabled server over TCP port 443--the standard SSL 
port. After the SSL session is built, the two systems then negotiate a 
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) session, including any required 
authentication. That's basically all there is to it. 

Jain said that you will be able to deploy SSTP on the same server on 
which an existing L2TP VPN is deployed, and SSTP can share the same 
server certificate as the L2TP VPN. Because SSTP integrates tightly 
with RRAS, very little extra configuration will be necessary to 
implement SSTP. 

There are of course downsides to using SSTP. For example, it won't work 
with Web proxies that require authentication. Another potential 
downside is that SSTP won't work for establishing site-to-site 
communication. This disadvantage is probably a minor one because site 
operators typically have the ability to manage firewalls on their 
networks, so they can use another method of connectivity. Microsoft 
could however expand SSTP to work for site-to-site communication in the 
future. Another downside might be that SSTP won't be supported on 
Windows XP, but we'll have to wait and see about that. As far as I 
know, the company hasn't said whether it will make SSTP available for 
XP systems.

Nevertheless, SSTP will ease the burden faced by many mobile users, and 
that's a plus. So there's your first reason to look forward to Vista 
SP1. I'm sure other reasons to look forward to SP1 will come to light 
as the year progresses. 

==
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=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES ================================
Fortify Software Extends Its Reach
   Fortify Software announced that it's reached an agreement to acquire 
certain intellectual property, capital assets, and resources from 
Secure Software. A spokesperson for Fortify said that the acquisition 
brings the company an increased customer base, increases its market 
exposure, and extends its ability to assist customers with the 
requirements and design phases of the software development lifecycle. 
http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=47A92:57B62BBB09A69279FD45A8336E9B675E 

TJX Reveals Big Data Breach
   In what is surely one of the many data breaches to come in 2007, The 
TJX Companies revealed that their customers' private data had been 
compromised in a security breach. Owner of several retail chains, 
including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, TJX said that the company network 
that handles its credit card, debit card, check, and merchandise return 
transactions had been broken into.
http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=47A97:57B62BBB09A69279FD45A8336E9B675E 

What's Hot: Readers Recommend the Best Products
   Readers write to tell us a bit about some of their favorite 
products: Barracuda Spam Firewall 300, KeePass Password Safe, and 
System Information for Windows. 
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Recent Security Vulnerabilities
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Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at
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=== GIVE AND TAKE =============================================
SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: 51 Reasons to Patch Your Oracle Applications
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=47AA0:57B62BBB09A69279FD45A8336E9B675E 

Oracle released its first quarterly round of patches for 2007 and it 
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this blog article. 
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FAQ: Find a User's DN
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=47A9E:57B62BBB09A69279FD45A8336E9B675E 

Q: How can I determine the logged-on user's distinguished name (DN)?

Find the answer at
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FROM THE FORUM: TACACS Authentication
   A forum participant writes that he receives an "Authentication 
Failed" message when trying to log on to a Cisco router by using a 
Terminal Access Controller Access Control System (TACACS) server. The 
TACACS server log has the message "Authentication session aborted by 
request from NAS," which is the router. What could be causing the 
error? Join the discussion at
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IT PRO OF THE MONTH--December 2006 Winner
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=== PRODUCTS ================================================== by Renee Munshi, products@windowsitpro.com 

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